LNTUP

5 players to watch out for in DPR Korea vs Niger game

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The second match of Group D can be interesting, in spite of the fact that two of the most unsuccessful teams in the history of the competition-Niger and North Korea (DPR) will be battling each other for three points.

Niger will be playing in its first FIFA competition, in the Under-17 World Cup in India. Surprisingly, this is a country that shocked five-time champion Nigeria 3-1 in the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier late last year, for an aggregate 3-2 victory from the two legs, after losing the opening leg 0-1. After jolting Nigeria, Niger kept up the good run and entered the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in May this year, which helped the team qualify for the Under-17 World Cup along with Ghana, Mali and Guinea.

On the other hand, DPR Korea qualified as one of the semifinalists in the AFC Under-16 tournament held in India. As the defending champion, the Korean team’s campaign in India wasn’t convincing. After starting on a high with two victories, which included a 4-1 win over Thailand and 2-0 defeat of Yemen, North Korea lost to Uzbekistan in the last league match. It, however, managed to qualify for the Under-17 World Cup by defeating Oman in the quarterfinals via the shoot-out. In the semifinals, North Korea lost to Iran on penalties.

Stars to look out for:

1)Ibrahim Boubacar Marou: The niger striker has been in impressive form in the U-17 African Cup of Nations, netting 6 goals from 5starts. He will be a great prospect to Niger’s hopes in doing well in the U-17 World Cup.

Ibrahim Boubacar Marou

2)Abdoul Karim Tinni Sanda: This central midfielder from Niger has won the “Youngest Nigerien Player of the Year” in 2016. His ability of blocking and accurate passing has kept him in this list. Their coach Tiemogo Soumaila will be looking forward to Karim giving his best on the field on Saturday.

3)Kim Pon Hyok: The Korean captain is a versatile player; he is quite adept at moving forward to assist the attack and also falling back to defend. He was the key player in coach Yun Jong Sun’s scheme of things, as Kim fitted perfectly into the Korean strategy that relied more on counter-attacks. A player with good pace, Kim is also a dead-ball expert.

4)Kye Tam: The North Korean coach rates the midfielder very high. A good finisher, Kye scored a hat-trick against Thailand in the only match he played in the AFC Under-16 Championship in Goa. Kye will spearhead the Korean attack in India.

5)Kim Kyong Sok: The Korean defender idols Leonardo Bonucci’s defending skills and hopes to perform like his idol in the U-17 World Cup.

Kim Kyong Sok

Manager Yong Su Kim thinks Kyong Sok is the future of Korea DPR’s defence and can be as good as his idol if he keeps working as hard as he has for all these days.